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The Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys
Examination Policies

Examination Policies

Eligibility Policy

Foundation Examinations

To be eligible to undertake any of the PEB Foundation Examinations candidates must hold a degree in a Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics subject (a STEM degree).

If a candidate does not hold a STEM degree they may apply to the PEB to have alternative qualifications and/or experience considered.

The PEB will recognise any request for eligibility previously granted to candidates by the JEB.

Final Examinations            

In order to be eligible to undertake any of the PEB Final Examinations candidates must have passed either:

PEB recognises any eligibility request previously granted by the JEB.

Litigation Skills Examinations

In order to sit the PEB Litigation Skills Examinations, candidates must have completed the CIPA Litigation Skills Course.

Certificates in Patent Administration

It is advisable that candidates have a minimum of 6-12 months relevant work experience before undertaking the Introductory Certificate in Patent Administration.

In order to be eligible to undertake the PEB Advanced Certificate in Patent Administration candidates must have passed the PEB Introductory Certificate in Patent Administration or its equivalent.


Exemptions Policy

Qualifying Examinations 

All examination exemptions and passes awarded by the JEB will be accepted as exemptions and passes of the equivalent PEB examinations. They will automatically be transferred from the JEB record to the PEB record automatically. Please note that the PEB policy on granting exemptions differs from that adopted by the JEB.

The PEB can only consider requests for exemptions based on examinations listed in Schedule 3 of the Rules for Examination and Admission of Individuals. 

1. Foundation Certificate

The PEB will consider requests for exemptions from the FC2 (English Law) PEB examination if a candidate has successfully completed one of the Law qualifications or law examinations listed in Schedule 3 of the Rules for Examination and Admission of Individuals.

The PEB will recognise candidates who have successfully completed the Certificate in IP at Queen Mary University, IP qualifications at Bournemouth University, or the Postgraduate Certificate in IP Law at Brunel University, as being eligible to sit the Final Diploma examinations. Candidates holding one of these qualifications will be asked to provide a copy of the certificate awarded by the university when completing the application form to enter for the PEB Final Diploma examinations. Such candidates do not need to submit an exemption request form.

      The PEB will recognise any exemption previously granted by the JEB.

2. Final Diploma

The PEB will recognise successful completion of the European Qualifying Examinations as a whole, or a pass in Paper A and/or B of those examinations, as the equivalent of passing the PEB Final Diploma examination FD2 (P3) and/or FD3 (P4).

3. Litigation Skills Examinations

There are no exemptions available for these examinations.

4. Introductory Certificate and Advanced Certificate in Patent Administration

Candidates who hold the Certificate in Patent Administration awarded by CIPA are exempt from the Introductory Patent Administration Certificate.


Publishing Key Dates Policy

The PEB will normally publish by the end of the year which precedes the year in which the examination takes place (e.g. by the end of 2015 for 2016 examinations) the examination dates, including the:

• opening and closing dates of the examination registration period;

• dates of the examinations;

• the results issue dates.


Registration, Payment and Registration Refund Policies

Registration Policy

Registration for PEB examinations must be made on or before the published closing date for registration using the appropriate Examination Registration Form.

Payment Policy

Payment must be made at the same time using one of the specified methods detailed on the Examination Registration Form. Payment must be received before PEB can process the Examination Registration Form.

A confirmation email will be sent on receipt of both the Examination Registration Form and associated fees.

Successfully registered candidates will receive a candidate number not less than two weeks before the examination.

Withdrawals for Qualifying Examinations

If a candidate withdraws from an examination no later than two weeks before the date of the examination, a refund of the examination entry fee, less a 20% administration charge, will be made.

If a candidate withdraws from an examination less than two weeks before the date of the examination, no refund is payable. Fees are not transferable to a future examination.

A full refund will be given to candidates who:

• withdraw from FD2 (P3) or FD3 (P4) within one month of the publication of the EQE results;

• enter for the PEB Basic English Law examination and are subsequently granted an exemption before the examination takes place.

Use this formif you wish to withdraw from one or more PEB qualifying examinations. 

Withdrawal from Litigation Skills Examinations or Certificate in Patent Administration Examination 

If a candidate withdraws from either or both of the Litigation Skills Examinations, the fee paid is neither refundable nor transferable after receipt of confirmation by the candidate of registration. 

If a candidate withdraws from either the Introductory Certificate in Patent Administration or the Advanced Certificate in Patent Administration, the fee paid is neither refundable nor transferable after receipt of confirmation by the candidate of registration.

If you wish to withdraw from either the Litigation Skills Examinations or the Certificate in Patent Administration Examinations please email peb@cipa.org.uk with your request. 


Late Examination Entry Policy

Where PEB receives both a correctly completed application form and fee for a PEB examination by the published deadline, the entry will be deemed to have been received by the closing date and will be processed.

Where either the form and/or the payment is not received by PEB by the published closing date, the PEB will process the entry on receipt of the late entry fee.


Missed Examination Policy 

Candidates who fail to attend an examination at the prescribed time for whatever reason, will not be allowed to take that examination at a different time in that examination cycle.

If there are exceptional circumstances which cause the candidate to know in advance that they will not be able to attend at the prescribed venue, and if the PEB receives enough notice to make the necessary administrative arrangements, the PEB will seek to accommodate a change of venue request.

For information on refunds for missed examinations please see the PEB Registration, Payment and Registration Refund Policies.


Reasonable Adjustments Policy    

Reasonable adjustments are intended to meet the individual needs of a candidate with disabilities without affecting the integrity of the examination. Reasonable adjustments are the principal way in which the PEB complies with its duty under the Equality Act 2010 to make ‘reasonable adjustments’. 

PEB reasonable adjustments can be awarded for written examinations only, and are agreed before an examination. They allow candidates with special educational needs, disabilities or temporary injuries to:

• access the examination; 
• show what they know and can do without changing the demands of the examination. 

Reasonable Adjustments

The PEB’s reasonable adjustments policy provides additional support within two categories.

1. Permanent physical, sensory or mental disability

Candidates with a permanent physical, sensory or mental disability who provide evidence that they are likely to be affected by the disability throughout their life. Examples of proof required include a medical report from a doctor, psychiatrist or educational psychologist. 

2. Temporary physical, sensory or mental disability

Candidates with a temporary physical, sensory or mental disability if the condition is likely to affect them for less than one year, and is likely to improve. Examples of a temporary disability could include broken limbs or injury to hands which could impair a candidate's ability to write. Supporting evidence will be required in all cases. 

Reasonable Adjustments

Include but are not limited to:

• extra time;
• supervised rest breaks; 
• use of readers, scribes, computers; 
• modified question papers (e.g. enlarged print, braille or using coloured paper).

All adjustments granted must be reasonable and not give the candidate an unfair advantage.


Location of Examination 

Depending on the type of reasonable adjustment awarded, the PEB may allocate a candidate to a venue best equipped to accommodate their needs. In this circumstance, the venue may not be the centre most local or convenient to the candidate. 


Special Consideration Policy

Qualifying Examinations      
Special consideration may be given by the PEB to candidates in instances that could not have been predicted, or were outside the candidate’s control, which may have impacted on their performance. This ensures that candidates who have a temporary illness, injury or indisposition at the time of the examination are treated fairly. Examples include influenza, death of a close family member, evacuation of the examination venue, and disturbances during the examination.

Special consideration must be applied for no later than two weeks after the examination, and supporting evidence must be provided, such as a letter from doctor, hospital, or authorised person.

If the disturbance affected the whole examination room, or a significant section of it, these details will be supplied to the PEB by an invigilator via the invigilator’s report.

Litigation Skills Examinations

Introductory Certificate in Patent Administration

Advanced Certificate in Patent Administration

Special consideration may be given by the PEB to candidates in instances that could not have been predicted, or were outside the candidate’s control, which may have impacted on their performance. This ensures that candidates who have a temporary illness, injury or indisposition at the time of the examination are treated fairly. Examples include influenza, death of a close family member, evacuation of the examination venue, and disturbances during the examination.

Special consideration must be applied for no later than one week after the examination, and supporting evidence must be provided, such as a letter from doctor, hospital, or authorised person.

If the disturbance affected the whole examination room, or a significant section of it, these details will be supplied to the PEB by an invigilator via the invigilator’s report.


Malpractice Policy

Malpractice is any deliberate action or practice that threatens the integrity of any PEB examination.  The PEB strives to prevent the occurrence of malpractice in its examinations, in order to safeguard their consistency and integrity.

The following are examples of candidate malpractice:

        
  • Misuse of assessment material, introduction of unauthorised material into the exam room for example notes, study guides, own blank paper, personal stereos, mobile phones  and other similar electronic devices
  • Obtaining, receiving, exchanging or passing on information which could be examination related  by means of  talking or using written papers /notes
  •   
  • Copying from another candidate
          
  • Collusion - working collaboratively with other candidates

  • Disruptive behaviour including the use of offensive language

  • Failing to abide by the instructions or advice of an invigilator, supervisor, or the PEB in relation to the examination rules and regulations

  • Impersonation - pretending to be someone else or arranging for another to take one’s place in an examination

Reporting and Outcomes     

All incidents of malpractice, irrespective of the nature of the incident, will be reported to the PEB in writing.

Candidates accused of malpractice will be made fully aware in writing at the earliest opportunity of the nature of the alleged malpractice. Candidates will have the opportunity to respond in writing to any allegations. Such responses should be submitted within 14 days of receipt of the allegations.

The PEB will determine:

    Whether the regulations have been adhered to
   
  • Where the culpability lies for the breach in regulations
  
  • The appropriate measures to be taken to protect the integrity of the award and to prevent future breaches as well as mitigate against any adverse effect

  • The nature of any penalty to be applied.

 Video Recording Policy

PEB oral examinations will be recorded by video for moderation, training and standardisation purposes.

Examination Resit Policies

Qualifying Examinations

There is no limit to the number of times a candidate may resit any of the PEB Qualifying Examinations.

Litigation Skills

The Litigation Skills Course Examinations are as follows:

The LSC written examination; and

The LSC oral examination.

1.       If you fail the written examination but pass the oral examination you will be required to undertake the online course and attend the second day of the face to face course before being allowed to re-sit the written examination.

2.       If you pass the written examination but fail the oral examination you will be required to undertake the online course and attend all the sessions of the face to face course (except the mock written examination) before being allowed to re-sit the oral examination.

3.       If you fail both the written  the oral examinations, you will be required to undertake the online course andattend all the sessions of the face to face course before being allowed to re-sit the failed examinations.

For 1 and 2 above, the maximum time that can elapse before you must retake and pass the failed examination is two years from attempting the first examination. There is no limit on the number of re-sits allowed within the two year time frame.  If you have not passed the retaken examination in that two year time frame you will be required to retake the whole course and sit both examinations.

Introductory and Advanced Certificates in Patent Administration

Illness

If a candidate is unwell and unable to attend the prescribed examination, they can sit the next available examination without re-attending the course. A fee will be charged for the re-sat examination, and no refund is payable for the missed examination (see Registration, Payment and Registration Refund Policy). If a candidate fails the examination, they will be required to take the whole course and examination.

Attendance

If a candidate fails to attend three course sessions, they shall not be eligible to take the examination and should apply to take the next available course.

Failed examination

If a candidate has failed an examination at or within 10% of the pass mark, they can sit the next available examination without re-attending the course. If a candidate fails the examination at the second attempt, they will be required to take the whole course and examination, regardless of the mark gained in the second examination.

If a candidate has failed an examination by more than 10% below the pass mark, they must retake the whole course and sit that course’s examination.